About the Study
In 2023, the Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) partnered with the Employment and Training Administration to fund contractor Westat Insight to conduct the Bridging the Gap for New Americans Study under the Administrative Data Research and Analysis portfolio of studies. The Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act identifies New Americans as lawfully present noncitizens who are eligible to be employed in the United States or naturalized U.S. citizens born outside the United States and outlying areas. This study aims to better understand the New American population’s employment patterns and opportunities and associated factors such as training and education. It also addresses the Congressional requirement for a study on “the factors affecting employment opportunities for applicable immigrants and refugees with professional credentials obtained in a non-U.S. country…” This study contributes to the labor evidence-base to inform Employment and Training programs and policies and addresses Departmental strategic goals and priorities.
- Overall prevalence: What is the size or national distribution (by State) of the various populations of refugees and lawfully present noncitizens and naturalized U.S. citizens?
- Home-country training: What types of occupational and professional credentials and academic degrees did this population hold before immigrating to the United States?
- U.S. training: What types of occupational and professional credentials and academic degrees did they obtain after immigrating to the United States?
- Employment patterns: What types of employment did New Americans have before and after they immigrated to the United States?
- Employment barriers: What barriers may prevent these individuals from using occupational experience, credentials, or qualifications obtained outside the United States to secure skill-appropriate or other employment in the United States?
- Employment support: What promising strategies or approaches have been shown to help these individuals who have professional experience and qualifications obtained outside the United States secure skill-appropriate employment in the United States?
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Chief Evaluation Office (CEO) sponsors independent evaluations and research, primarily conducted by external, third-party contractors in accordance with the Department of Labor Evaluation Policy. CEO’s research development process includes extensive technical review at the design, data collection and analysis stage, including: external contractor review and OMB review and approval of data collection methods and instruments per the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Institutional Review Board (IRB) review to ensure studies adhere to the highest ethical standards, review by academic peers (e.g., Technical Working Groups), and inputs from relevant DOL agency and program officials and CEO technical staff. Final reports undergo an additional independent expert technical review and a review for Section 508 compliance prior to publication. The resulting reports represent findings from this independent research and do not represent DOL positions or policies.